My thanks to the two brave writers whose pitches follow:
THE UNDONE YEARS - by Rosie
(A historical novel)
Britain has won the war but its old certainties are shattered.
January 1919. Leeds shop-assistant April fears she will forever remain behind a dreary shop counter. Upper-class rebel Eleanor knows she will never find love after her lover’s ambulance is shelled on the road to Amiens. Two women. Worlds apart. Both stranded in a world they no longer recognise. Both yearning for something beyond themselves. Their only link is Michael, conscientious objector and political activist, who loves them both. Their entwined roads to self-discovery and happiness take place against a backdrop of jazz, women’s emancipation and mounting industrial unrest that culminates in the General Strike of 1926.
THE MASTER'S SHADOW - by Colman O Criodain
(A novel for 12+/YA)
In 1482 a young noblewoman lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. In her final moments, she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.
The Master’s Shadow tells the story of Sean Byrne, of a fourteen-year old Irish boy, just arrived in Brussels with his enigmatic sister, Maeve to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with his classmate, sassy Stephanie Clarke, they find an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at once.
Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb they have seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?
Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over.